Sometimes I can be pretty indecisive, as my friends would tell you. I’m pleased to say that I’m not as bad as I used to be, which is a very good thing indeed. I remember breakfast time one morning, some 8 or 9 years ago, when I was standing in front of an open cupboard in my kitchen, my eyes flicking between a box of Frosties and a box of Cornflakes, trying to decide which to have for breakfast. I stood there for 5 minutes, until - utterly frustrated - I slammed the cupboard door shut and went without breakfast altogether.

Fortunately, I’ve learned to make decisions quicker and easier now, and as we all make decisions - both big and small - all day, every day, it’s something that I’ll often work with clients to improve. Here are my 5 ways to make confident decisions. Oh, I decided on cranberry granola this morning, by the way.

1. Test them against your values.
Regular readers and clients will know how much I go on about personal values. They have such an important role to play for so many reasons, not least of which is how useful they are in making confident decisions. Your values are the building blocks, cornerstones and foundations for who you are, and can be things in yourself, others or out there in the world that are most important to you. Know your values and you get the chance to express them and honour them, and when you do that you’re expressing and honouring who you are. It feels pretty amazing, as clients of mine will let you know.

So how do they fit into decision making? Simple. When you’re faced with a tricky decision you can line up your different choices and ask ‘Which one of these most honours my values?’ The decision that’s most in line with your values will be the best decision for you because it fits with who you are and what’s most important to you. Told you it was simple.

2. Be like Columbo.
I used to love those rainy Sunday afternoons watching Columbo, and loved the bit at the end where he’d sidle up to the Bad Guy, say ‘Just one more thing,’ and then proceed to blow apart the bad guys alibi. Genius. What Columbo had in spades, other than a penchant for cubans and raincoats, was a great trust in his intuition. Right from the moment he first meets the bad guy, he knows 'whodunnit' – and more importantly, he trusts it.

What does your intuition tell you is the ‘right’ decision for you. Forget about all the ‘What if’s’ and the details – what does your gut tell you? Listen to that still, quiet voice way down deep. Learn to listen to your intuition, it knows what it’s talking about.

3. It just doesn’t matter.
My decision between Frostie’s and Cornflakes wasn't a biggie. Whichever I chose, there were never going to be any huge consequences and the ripples from that decision wouldn't have been felt much further than the end of my spoon. The point is, sometimes it just doesn’t matter which way you go.

And it's not just tiny, silly little breakfast-related decisions either – with bigger decisions we often get wrapped up in second guessing ourselves, going round in circles and over-complicating things, when - if you get right down to it - it just doesn’t matter.

Notice when you fall into that second guessing pattern of thought and interrupt yourself – going round in circles is only going to make you dizzy.

Be aware that sometimes the difference between your choices just doesn’t matter a whole lot, and that you can’t make a ‘wrong’ choice. Ask yourself this question - if your future happiness wasn’t dependent on your decision (and it isn’t, by the way), which way would you go?

4. Have enough information.
By all means look at the facts before you make a complex decision. By all means weigh up the pro’s and con’s so that you can get an understanding of the ‘science’ behind a decision. Be careful though - there's a big difference between knowing enough to make a choice, and knowing everything to make choice.

You could spend a long, long time gathering together every piece of information that might be related to the decision in an effort to cover all the bases. Not to mention the time required to analyse everything. When you feel that happening, stop yourself, get a change of environment and ask yourself ‘What do I really need to know to be able to make a decision?’

5. Doubt vs The Gremlin.
We all have a part of ourselves that doesn’t like change and a part of ourselves that uses every trick in the book to avoid making decisions so that we can stay exactly where we are. It's sometimes called the Inner Critic or the Gremlin, and it’s a part of you that would rather avoid making decisions altogether rather than run the risk of making a bad one or screwing up.

This is different from having doubts. Doubts are valid concerns about a possible course of action, or reasonable concerns about what might be in store. Your doubts are there to help you prepare for change and prepare for what could happen. They have a positive intention and a positive effect – to make you ready to go forwards.

Your Gremlin on the other hand has a negative impact – to keep you exactly where you are and to hold you back if that's what it takes. Knowing the difference between your doubts and your Gremlin helps you clarify what’s real and what's imagined, what's relevant and what isn’t relevant, and sets you free to make a choice that serves you well and takes you forward in a way that's right for you.

Use these strategies when you find yourself wavering in the face of a decision or going round in circles. With practice they can become automatic, and when they're in your bones you'll be ready to tackle any decision from a place of power and with a sense of what's right for you.

Author's Bio: 

About Steve Errey
Steve Errey is one of the UK’s most popular coaches, and specialises in personal growth for thirtysomethings. “I love to coach the heck out of my clients and always do my darndest to help them win,” says Steve. If you want to win at something that matters to you get in touch with Steve on 0845 644 3001, by email at or visit his website at .